Small Business Success – an Easy Way of Keeping Track of Your Income and Expenses

Income and Expenses

Recording all income and expenses is the most basic bookkeeping function of any small business. Here is an easy way to keep track of your business income and expenses using Excel, OpenOffice Calc or other spreadsheet software.

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First of all, set up two separate spreadsheet files and name them: 1 – Income for the current year  2 – Expenses for the current year.

incomeIncome Spreadsheet(s)

The majority of your business income will come from sales but you may also derive income from other sources. All of your income needs to be recorded. Try to get into the habit of recording it on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on your volume of sales.

If you have a lot of small sales, it makes sense to set up separate spreadsheets to record your weekly or monthly income. If, however, you have a relatively small number of large sales over the course of a year, one spreadsheet should be sufficient to record all of your income.

In each income spreadsheet, create the following column headings: 1,Invoice Number 2,Date of Invoice 3,Name of Customer 4,Amount

You could also add other columns with additional information, such as the item(s) sold, the name of the project, or a short description of the work completed.

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As soon as you raise an invoice, store a paper copy of it in a file that is separated into 12 sections for each month. When you are doing your bookkeeping, take out the invoices for the past week or month and enter the information for each invoice into the correct spreadsheet.

Look through your business bank account statements to check for extra income that hasn’t yet been entered into the spreadsheet. For example, it is possible that you could have had some miscellaneous income, such as a refund.

If you receive income through PayPal, don’t forget to include it in your records, recording the date on which you received each amount in your PayPal account. When you transfer income from your PayPal account to your bank account, ensure that you transfer the exact amount in order to avoid confusion and to make it easier to track your income in your bank account.

expensesExpenses Spreadsheets

In your expenses spreadsheet, set up twelve separate sheets labeled with the months of the year. Within each sheet, set up the following column headings:

  • Date – this should be the first column on the left hand side.
  • One column heading for each type of expense you normally incur – for example, travel, computer software, postage, stationery, and so on.
  • Total – this should be the last column on the right hand side.

Use the SUM function to sum up the totals of each column and row. Once the data is entered, you will be able to see at a glance how much you have spent in each category and your total monthly expenditure, which will be the total of the last column on the right hand side.

As soon as you incur a business expense, place the invoice or receipt into a file which has 12 different pockets marked with the months of the year.

When you are ready to do your bookkeeping, take out all your paper invoices and receipts. Open the expenses spreadsheet for the current month and enter the date and amount of each expense into the relevant columns. For example, if you have receipt for a flight, enter its date in the first column, followed by its amount in the “travel” column. Continue in this way until you have recorded all of your expenses.

If you have recently started your own business, the task of bookkeeping can seem daunting. However, setting up a system for recording your income and expenses will help you to do your bookkeeping as quickly as possible, leaving you with more time to develop your business.

this article is written By Roz Andrews

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